Facing the challenges of Family Justice
"Family Justice has been treated as the poor relation of Criminal Justice and is combined with Civil Justice in management structures. To the users of the system and arguably society more widely, it is more important than either of these."
(Interim Report of the Family Justice Committee 2011 para 23).
As lawyers, we act for those users of the family justice system – the parents, and the children in some cases. They turn to us to guide them in what are often the most testing times of their lives. They have reached a point where they want answers and action. In private law disputes, they often come to us at the end of their tether when they have tried everything else. Frequently the client is being prevented by the other parent from seeing their child. Emotions are high. The parties do not get the opportunity to vent their frustrations at the other in the context of divorce and sorting out their finances and so they are often played out with the children. In public law cases, frequently the client is shocked, bewildered and frightened. Decisions are being made for or about them that they feel they have no input to. In all cases, the rights of children need to be considered and upheld – UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Read the full article that was published in the Family Court Journal